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The biggest mystery in the draft, Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr., was taken by the Denver Nuggets with the 14th overall pick.
Coming out of high school, Porter Jr. was projected to be a top-three pick in the draft, but his stock dropped tremendously after the back surgery he underwent in college and the hip spasms that forced him to cancel a pre-draft workout in Chicago.
Porter Jr.’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, delivered more-detailed and recent medical info to teams on Porter Jr.’s back. The medical report circulated among teams caused major concern, however, and that’s why Porter Jr. fell to the Nuggets.
No one questions Porter Jr.’s talent. He is widely regarded as the best pure scorer in the draft. His athleticism, which was off the charts in high school, might not be there at the beginning of his NBA career because of the back surgery. It usually takes athletes a full year to return to their old performance and recapture that vertical after undergoing a back procedure.
The Nuggets might be cautious with Porter Jr. and there’s a chance he could sit out the majority or all of his rookie season, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports.
After being drafted, Porter Jr. told ESPN that his expectation is to play in Summer League and his rookie year.